PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Singing the National Anthem doesn’t usually get Battalion Chief John Grillone in trouble, but when a YouTube video surfaced of Grillone singing it in a firehouse, the Philadelphia Fire Commissioner charged that Grillone’s conduct was unbecoming. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning,” said Grillone, as he left a disciplinary hearing with his attorney and union representative. Grillone, a 38-year veteran, is seen singing, eating cookies and talking to co-workers in the video. There was some foul language used as well, but Grillone’s attorney, Alice Ballard, maintains the men were just simply having good clean fun. LINK
Well, it would obviously be career suicide to post much about this story beyond saying that I know everyone involved. Chief Grillone used to be a neighbor and is a veteran officer with many years of honorable service. His lawyer actually represented me when I first got on the job. I had a fight with the city about their hiring practices with respect to my veteran’s status. Suffice to say, I won and they lost. She’s a heavyweight and it shows the Chief isn’t taking this lightly.
Mike Kane, his union representative, was my chief when I worked in center city. They don’t come any better. This entire incident illustrates what is important to our current command structure. In light of recent events, no one should be surprised. There is no story here. It is just some video of a slow day at the station with the fellas trying to keep morale up, not an easy task. Certainly not anything that could be deemed a violation of any rules. Unbelievable.